Summary: This verse commands believers to give thanks to the Lord, not FOR everything, but IN everything! There is a big difference there! Certainly, we ought to be thankful, not just because we are told to be thankful, but because we have much to be thankful for!
REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING
This verse commands believers to give thanks to the Lord, not FOR everything, but IN everything! There is a big difference there! Certainly, we ought to be thankful, not just because we are told to be thankful, but because we have much to be thankful for!
There’s a story of two old friends who bumped into one another on the street one Friday afternoon. One of them looked sad, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "Why are you so sad, my old friend?"
The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."
"That’s a lot of money."
"But, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars."
"Sounds like you’ve been blessed...."
"You don’t understand!" he interrupted. "Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million."
Now he was really confused. "Then, why do you look so sad?" "This week... it’s already Friday and nothing!"
That’s the trouble with receiving something on a regular basis. Even if it’s a gift, we eventually come to expect it. This is the “entitlement mindset” that has permeated American society at almost every level. We have been blessed to live in a land of plenty and as a result we become complacent and many times we are completely unwilling to give thanks to anyone for anything.
Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I have discovered that thankfulness is a very fickle thing. Often, our thankfulness focuses on things that are physical in nature. We are thankful for our health. We are thankful for our families and our homes. We are thankful for our financial stability. We are thankful for the things we have. Yet, all of these things are subject to change. Think about it, health can fade, families can split up and bank accounts can run dry. What do we do then? How does that affect our thankfulness? I would like to suggest that we remain thankful for all the physical blessings we enjoy, and that we learn to look beyond those changing things to some things that never change.”
In the verse we read there are some Unchanging Reasons For Thanksgiving.
I. OUR SAVIOR
A. His Abiding Presence - Regardless of where the path of life leads, the child of God will never walk alone!
B. His Assisting Presence - The word "helper" comes from a word which means to "to run". The idea is that when we are in need, the Lord runs to our aid. He is our Comforter!
C. His Anchoring Presence - One of our greatest sources of thanksgiving is in the truth that Jesus never changes! What He was then is what He is now! From before creation on into eternity, Jesus has never, nor will He ever change! He is still "I AM!" We can always be thankful for our Savior!
II. OUR SALVATION
A. The Price Of It - We can thank God that salvation is given without cost. It is purely the operation of grace! Think of how you came to know Him! Dead in sin and He sought you, He called you, He died for you, He redeemed you and He keeps you. All you did was exercise the faith that He gave you. He did it all!
B. The Pain Of It - For us the price was low, for God, the price was unimaginable! Our salvation cost God the life of His Son. His death on the cross is what provided salvation for you and me! There is no way that we can adequately describe the details of the death of the Lord Jesus, but the prophet Isaiah tells us something about what He suffered for us. We can be thankful, everyday, that even though He knew what we were and what we would be like after He saved us that He still went to the cross and died for our sins!
C. The Purpose Of It - We are told that He suffered the death He did so that He might "sanctify the people." The word "sanctify" means "to separate from vain things and set apart for God's use." This is why Jesus died! He died to take vile sinners out of their sins and set them apart from this world for the glory of God.
III. OUR SEPARATION
A. The call of this verse is for us to do on the outside what He has already done on the inside. That is, He has set us apart inwardly through the redemption of the blood of Jesus. He is telling us to be different.
B. We ought to thank the Lord that He has made a change in us. The very fact that we don't live like we used to, that we don't find enjoyment in all the things the world is running to, that we are different is a cause for rejoicing everyday of our lives!